The War Within #2
Release date: November 2002
Cover variants: Regular
Writer: Simon Furman
Artwork: Don Figueroa (pencils) Elaine To (inks) Rob Ruffolo (colors)
Rating: Art / Story
First appearance: Trypticon, Grapple, Powerglide, Outback, Hoist, Brawn, Longhaul, Scrapper, Mixmaster, Bombshell, Kickback, Shrapnell, Ratchet, Astrotrain, Brawl, Vortex
Synopsis:By Ian Arrowsmith
The Autobots are preparing to leave and Shockwave is determined to give them a proper send off!
The new prime, Optimus Prime has been appointed. He proves himself by dealing with a couple of Megatron's assasins and then orders a planet-wide evacuation of Cybertron.
Issue 2 opens with poor Xeon's head atop Megatron's hand. In the Decepticon fortress of Kolkular, Megatron ponders whether Xeon would have been so quick to turn a blind eye and accept bribes if he knew what would happen as a result (the civil war). Megatron declares that the end is now upon them. Starscream pipes up and questions his leader's intentions as the Autobots are now undertaking a planet wide evacuation. Starscream is assured "they're not going anywhere!" and moments later we see Megatron dispatching his seekers to take out a command post to show that it is business is usual, while he works on his master plan to turn Cybertron into a cosmic dreadnought.
Meanwhile Ironhide, Hound and several other Autobots are starting up the evacuation process loading up some ships. Grimlock is so busy ranting about his discontent for the new prime's plan that he forgets to help Brawn. Just as Grimlock walks off to ponder a new plan Brawn drops the package.
Back at Iacon, Optimus prime's wisdom is called to question by Prowl just before they witness a tower of light erupt from within Cybertron. Grimlock is alone in Kaon where he too sees the light plume rising from the ground. He jumps down a crevice where he finds what appears to be an old Decepticon symbol. Now within Cybertron, Megatron reveals how his primary agenda is close to realisation and that all along the arena battles were a method to find the best people to enlist to the Decepticon cause. The menacing Insecticons look on.
Optimus and several others race to where the plume of light erupted; Optimus immediately knows that Megatron did this to get his attention. Optimus decides to bravely go below ground alone but he questions his own stupidity in this matter. Prowl tries to send Optimus a transmission but he can't get through because the Autobot leader is too deep for the signal to get through. Then it all goes wrong for Optimus as the Insecticons let loose and open fire on him. Optimus tries to surrender himself to them to get to Megatron, but he is told that Megatron wants a corpse not a walking talking Optimus Prime. The explosions get bigger and Optimus is blasted off the platform and further down to the lower levels. He gets up to carry on moving little does he seem to notice Ravage sneaking up behind him.
Iacon: Jazz and bumblebee get annoyed at Prowl for letting Optimus go, prowl tries to tell them that Optimus wanted it that way and that they should carry on with his orders, they all get interrupted by the incoming "mess" of attackers. Shockwave interrupts everyone; "Autobots - The hour of your eradication is at hand!" with an armada of decepticons backing him up shockwave looks as menacing as ever in his space gun mode, all charged up needing somewhere to fire.
Well now that Megatron is on the scene the whole story gets underway not just Optimus Prime's part of it. The scene changes are numerous in this issue most barely even last a few pages before we are dragged off to another part of Cybertron for another tidbit of the story, Simon and Don seem to pull it off just fine though as you can still remember the story. Yes this issue is all about the story and its development not much action. Sure we get several explosions, but its all a bit one-sided really the Autobots never really get a shot at fighting back, when attacked Optimus doesn't even get a shot off at the Insecticons. Even Grimlock gets a pretty much passive role in this issue. As far as the story goes though it seems to be progressing nicely.
We get some good explanations into Megatron's plan and how he managed to get his Decepticon army. It would be good if this series showed us a little more about how the great Megatron came to be the leader of the Decepticons not just Optimus. In a way I would have liked to heard a little more of Optimus Prime's thoughts on becoming leader of the autobots, he seems to have gone quite quickly from archivist to a fairly inspiring leader, I guess that this is a story about a lot of the Transformers feelings towards the war and not just prime's though. This is one of the things that I like (and sometimes hate) about Furman's writing, he always leaves you with more questions than answers, but I guess that's part of what makes him good.
The artwork in this issue is still as good as the first issue and it is great to see Don's designs on Megatron properly even if he is just in robot mode, makes you look forward to seeing his alternate mode even more. There is a great mix of dialogue and artwork; some pages are just great to look at.
Overall this issue sets itself up nicely for issue 3 now that most of the plotlines appear to have been started, and the last page especially leaves you wanting more.